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Fostering Global Citizenship Through Faculty-Led International Programs

reviewed by Melda N. Yildiz - November 30, 2012

coverTitle: Fostering Global Citizenship Through Faculty-Led International Programs
Author(s): Jo Beth Mullens & Pru Cruper (eds.)
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1617358312, Pages: 242, Year: 2012
Search for book at Amazon.com

JoBeth Mullens and Prudence Cuper’s 2012 book, “Fostering Global Citizenship Through Faculty-Led International Programs,” is an informative and detailed guide for designing study abroad courses. While exploring the growing trend in internationalizing higher education, the book outlines the opportunities and challenges in developing a study abroad course and promotes global citizenship among college students through the experiences of two professional educators with extensive global education and curriculum design experience.

Organized with detailed step-by-step information, the book draws heavily from the first hand experiences of two faculty who designed, implemented and experienced two short-term study abroad courses. Authors, JoBeth Mullens and Prudence Cuper, both faculty at Keene State College, organized this book with relevant and field tested ideas and strategies for educators seeking guidelines for developing an undergraduate study abroad course. As such, the book includes tables, checklists, suggested interview questions, and rubrics that are based on the authors’ experience, with a focus on the importance of developing global citizenship among college students.

Even though there are plenty of online and commercial resources available for faculty preparing international study courses, few are especially written by faculty for faculty. The text guides the reader from development to implementation of the international study course, including the rationale for internationalizing undergraduate education. It provides interdisciplinary classroom strategies and assessment instruments for faculty in various disciplines: anthropology, art, art history, biology, education, geography, history, political science, sociology, women’s studies, world languages as well as international and global studies.

The book has three parts and thirteen chapters. Each chapter starts with an inspiring and relevant quote, followed by a travel tale that draws readers into the focus of the chapter. In each of the thirteen travel tales, we gain an insight from the authors and their students’ experience. As one student said, “It is amazing how much you can learn about your own life when thrown into someone else’s” (referring to a host family) (p. 190). In another travel tale (p. 179) on their third day at Machu Picchu, the authors shared their experience with a massive strike that forced them to modify their learning goals and travel plans.  In return the students gained invaluable insight on politics and government as well as interview skills.

This book was based on Drs. Mullen and Cuper’s international teaching experiences and their undergraduate students who were enrolled in honors courses, one in Peru and the other one in Belize. The authors start the introduction with Campbell’s quote from “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” They compare their international experience with The Hero’s Journey (Campbell, 1968), in seeking an elixir to develop global citizenship among their students. Prior to their call to a quest for internationalizing their college’s honors program both had extensive international experiences, but for the first time they partnered to design their first faculty led short-term study abroad course.

Part I: Faculty-led International Programs-Examining the Value provides the history of study abroad programs, with a theoretical background from Freire’s (1970) Pedagogy of Oppressed to Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning Cycle, and explores the crucial role of international experience and its impact in developing global citizenship among undergraduate students in the 21st century.

In Part II: International Program Organization: Undertaking the Tasks, authors move from addressing why we need global education to how we can design a faculty-led study abroad experience as well as how to expand students’ learning experiences beyond the walls of the classroom. They outline essential steps and provide comprehensive plans, including factors such as timelines, budgets, accommodations, travel forms and documents, health insurance, immunizations, and emergency contacts. Some of the tasks and suggestions may look like common sense, and others may discourage faculty from initiating study abroad programs; however, the provided checklists and reminders of what to consider in this book prepare faculty and students for various unexpected delays and incidents and make the steps easy, clear, and organized as well as protect the home institution from legal issues and complications. The authors share one example when a student called home and left a quick message to their parents in the US while visiting Brisbane and how it sounded like the student was in prison, alarming the anxious parents (p. 124). The authors suggest various communication tools such as email, Twitter, and Facebook to contact parents as the new technologies become more accessible.

Part III: The Learning: Realizing the Potential of Faculty-Led International Programs presents practical strategies for curriculum design, assessment strategies, reflection on the learning goals and objectives, practical tips, assessment rubrics, and discussion starters. Mullens and Cuper  break down the process of designing a study abroad experience into three stages: pre-departure, international experience, and reentry. Each stage of the study abroad experience is explained in detail complete with examples. This part provides an overview of how to measure intended outcomes for the course, and outlines various possible projects, such as digital travel tales focusing on students’ reflection in order to measure their “transformative” experience.

Assessing students’ knowledge and skills can be easier than evaluating their disposition or attitudes towards global citizenship, which may be challenging as these attitudes may be more subjective. Furthermore, they may involve emotional responses to international incidents that need to be addressed. The authors outline all the assessment challenges, starting from “forming” new knowledge in formative assessment to offering “summary” conclusions in summative assessment, while providing practical strategies for grappling with grading.

Prior to their travel, the students are first provided with a pre-departure orientation outlining everything from the course requirements to an introduction to the host country. The next stage is student learning throughout their international experience: field notes, travel observations, volunteer activities, host family experiences, language learning and cultural exposure. Last but not least the authors discuss reentry and beyond, focusing on students returning back home while experiencing reverse culture shock. The authors point out how the reentry is not just assessing the students and the program and re-visiting students’ projects through reentry interviews in a somewhat open-ended and non-evaluative format, it is also time to celebrate and showcase students’ experiences with the community, and, most importantly, nurture long lasting relationships between students and the host families and their country.

This book outlines the journey of two faculty who were searching for their elixir while sharing their experiences and collaborations from pre-departure to re-entry. As Mullens and Cuper write “… students are not the only ones who can gain from such ventures; faculty leaders have much to gain as well” (p. 54). Fortunately, Fostering Global Citizenship Through Faculty-Led International Programs is available for faculty and international programs, and it can serve as a comprehensive resource to develop and lead study abroad programs, short-term or long-term, that promote global citizenship not only for students but also for the faculty.


Campbell, J. (1968). The hero with a Thousand Faces (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of Oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum International.

Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: November 30, 2012
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16950, Date Accessed: 5/28/2022 7:39:35 AM

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About the Author
  • Melda Yildiz
    Kean University
    E-mail Author
    MELDA YILDIZ is an associate professor in the School for Global Education and Innovation at Kean University and adjunct faculty in Master of Education in Technology in Education at Lesley University. 2009-2010, Melda served as the first Fulbright Scholar in Turkmenistan. Since 1994, she taught Media Literacy Education, Multimedia Production, Women Studies, Asian Studies, and Global Education to P-16 educators and teacher candidates. Melda worked as a Media Specialist at Northfield Mount Hermon School, taught video and media production to grades 9-12, and published and presented featuring Educational Media, Global Education, Media Literacy, Education Semiotics, and Multicultural Education in many national and international conferences. She received her Ed.D. from University of Massachusetts on Math & Science and Instructional Technology. She received an M.S. from Southern Connecticut State University on Instructional Technology. She majored in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Bogazici University, in Turkey. Yildiz is currently working on Global Kitchen Project: Developing healthy eating habits among elementary school students.
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